Winter may be gone but it’s left its mark upon the region in the form of continued let–runs, broken water mains, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in other damages and general maintenance.
The various road commissions felt the economic sting as many of them went over budget keeping the roads safe, clear and passable. The Alger County Road Commission was no exception as its budget and salt supply were stretched thin.
The road commission’s salt barn can house just over 2,000 tons of salt. After this winter, only 50 tons remain.
Bob Lindbeck, Engineer Manager with the Alger County Road Commission, said, “Our Alger County Road Commission budget was nearly $120,000 over a typical winter and we did receive $131,000 of the emergency winter offset money from the state of Michigan and that’s been a real blessing.”
Currently, the road commission is working on post-winter maintenance such as patching potholes, maintaining highway shoulders and replacing damaged guardrails. They are also looking ahead to their summer projects.
“We’ve got some road and risk reserve projects on Connors Road and H-44 in Traunik, and a federal aid project near Grand Marais on H-58; we’ve got quite a few cooperative projects with our townships. We’ve got a very busy summer construction season planned,” Lindbeck said.
The emergency fund diverted into the road commission’s budget has helped offset current costs and will be a boon as they move into summer projects.